The Day the Cherubs Got Pubes

cherubs pubes managing challenging behavior dementia

In case you’re wondering when cherubs got pubes. Actually, they didn’t. Well not really. It’s the dementia.

 

My grandma is 86. She has always been weird. Now, with dementia, she’s just well, weirder.

 

I realize this isn’t politically correct. I know it doesn’t sound nice. However, this is how our life works.

 

Dementia sucks. For everyone. If I don’t find some humor in all of this, I’ll be the one who needs a caregiver.

Okay, back to the pubes. That’s why you’re here, right?

 The Day the Cherubs Had Pubes ...funny look at life caring for someone with dementia

 

I’m working at the computer. Grandma comes by and crooks her finger wanting me to follow.

 

Oh boy.

 

Timing my gait with hers we sloooowlllly inch to the living room. She uses a walker. Sometimes I feel like I am rubbing it in that I can still go fast if I use the passing lane.

 

Grandma: “look” *pointing with a smug expression

 

Me: “What?” *seeing nothing out of place. Every doily just so. No knickknacks out of whack.

 

Grandma: “There. The cherub. Someone colored it with pencil.” *Pointing to tiny cherub gnarly parts.*

 

Me: *stifling a laugh*, “I don’t think so” *very seriously inspecting said gnarly parts for any inappropriate graffiti*

 

Grandma: “You don’t?” *genuinely surprised*

 managing challenging dementia behaviors

 

I take it under the lamplight and compare it to it’s equally gaudy twin. Showing her, “See it’s just the gilding.” *mumbling extra quiet how frickin’ ugly it is, however, not sporting newly drawn pubes.

 

She shuffles away, shaking her head, still not really believing me, yet letting it go for now.

 

*Sigh…..I get it. Kids get into s**t. My kids aren’t perfect. But there is no way in holy hell that they would ever have colored on her crap. I use the word loosely, maybe it’s worth something, it’s still crap.

 

Seriously, this is life with dementia. A series of increasingly absurd conversations.

 

Today she was convinced that the kids have been coloring again. This time on her kitchen table. Again, with that damn No. 2 pencil. The table is 60 plus years old. Decades of use have chipped away some of the finish.

 

As long as I remember it has been covered with an assortment of ugly plastic tablecloths, so most likely the wooden surface was rarely washed down. Dirt filtering into grooves left behind from the bumps and bangs of family life. To her these look like pencil marks.

 

She has time to inspect every inch of the table. Sometimes for hours while she continuously drums “shave and a hair cut, two bits” over and friggin’ over.

 

Some days it’s like dementia Morse code poking away with the end of her finger. She’s probably messaging, HELP get me the hell out of here, these people are driving me nuts. Pretty sure I would, if I could.

 

Until about two weeks ago, I kept the table covered. I finally got sick of dizzying patterns of plaids and checks, that look like the polyester pants she wears. I was tired of her repairing tiny tears with scotch tape. Picking and scratching at imagined spots.

 

So I bared the table. Now she does nearly the same thing with the wood. Scratches that have probably been there for 40 years have become something the kids must have done as if they’re delinquent school children carving their names on the desktops.

 

After toast in the morning, she meticulously collects crumbs by licking her fingertip, pushes down onto each one, making a pile. Then proceeds to push the entire pile onto the floor.

 

The mystery of dementia. It makes absolutely no rational sense. To be obsessively neat about one thing, yet completely unaware of a complete mess about another.

 

This disease amazes and scares me everyday. Am I going to end up this way, picking, scratching and blowing raspberries until I drive my loved ones crazy? Obsessed with little things out of place or imagining slights and naughty behavior around every corner.

 

I hope not or kill me now.

 

I have already told my kids. If I annoy them, let me know. Please don’t hold it in and let it bug you. My upbringing regarding respect for adults so overrides being able to talk to her about any issues that it is not healthy for me. I don’t want this for them. It’s my sad, guilt filled truth.

 

I realize that part of the dementia is not knowing or believing that these things are happening. My kids know that too. I don’t want them stressing out feeling guilty between caring for me and living their life. Enjoying their life.

 

So kids, if I lose my mind, get me a comfy chair with a great view of the cherubs. One thing though, could they look like Channing Tatum instead? I won’t bother you, I promise.

Hmmm, on second thought, maybe I’ll just go wait in the chair.

 managing challenging dementia behaviors

What’s your biggest caregiver pet peeve?

Here are some of mine,  Caregiver Pet Peeves Trump Style

 

The Day the Cherubs Had Pubes ...funny look at life caring for someone with dementia

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5 thoughts on “The Day the Cherubs Got Pubes

  1. Karen Sandlin says:

    Laurie – I just came across this today while searching pinterest. I have begun the caregiving on my 84 year old mother-in-law. I love her son dearly and do it to spare him all the nitty-gritty daily details. So far she is able to stay in an apartment in our backyard and be fairly self sufficient even though diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Some days her memory is 30 minutes long, other days (when she’s mad) limitless. I think I am blessed to have come across your blog and plan to check it regularly. Your sense of humor just might get me through this! thanks!!

    • Laurie O'Rourke says:

      Karen, Your comments mean the world to me. I wasn’t sure my dark humor would be appreciated. Humor seems to be necessary when dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Though I find for someone like me with little patience, it comes a little more difficult. What a great thing you are doing for your mother in law and your husband. So far my caregiving experience has been a bit daunting and thankless, though an endeavor of the utmost importance. I am working hard behind the scenes not only on new blog posts but also on a resource library for caregivers. Glad to see you subscribed so you won’t miss anything. My best advice for a new caregiver is to find others who might help, hopefully before you need it, and to join a support group either online or in person. I wish I had done both so much sooner. If I can help you in anyway, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

  2. Karen Sandlin says:

    Laurie – First of all, thank you so much for your response! THAT means a lot! Secondly, I don’t think you do anything half-way, I think it is all out or nothing. Really? Home schooling 3 kids, taking care of your grandmother, running a household with 6 people, blogging, resource library? Girl, you make me tired. Let’s get through this together! I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to your entries. From what little I know about you, I think you are amazing! Hang in there – and as you said DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF on a regular basis! Thanks for the laughter!

    • Laurie O'Rourke says:

      Karen,
      what an encouraging response, I don’t always feel that way. I appreciate your kind words, what a boost 🙂

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